German top club team Bayern Munich have announced Eintracht Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac will succeed Jupp Heynckes as their manager at the end of the season.
Heynckes took over following ex-Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti’s dismissal in September and led Bayern to their sixth Bundesliga title in a row.
The 72-year-old is in his second spell at the club, and could yet win the Champions League again.
Former Croatia captain Kovac played for Bayern from 2001-2003.
The 46-year-old, who has also managed Croatia, has signed a three-year contract and will take up his new role on 1 July.
Kovac, born in Berlin to Croatian parents, is under contract to Frankfurt until 2019 and reports in the German media have suggested his release clause is 2.2 million euros (£1.9m).
Both clubs last week denied Kovac was on his way to Munich.
“There is no reason to doubt that I will be the coach of Frankfurt next season,” he said.
Several high-profile coaches, including Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, were linked with the Bayern job after Heynckes reportedly rejected the offer of a contract extension.
Germany’s World Cup-winning head coach Joachim Low ruled himself out of contention, declaring his intention to honour his contract with the national team, which runs until 2020.
Former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel also rejected the chance to join the German champions, who on Friday were paired with Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.
“Niko knows the people in charge as well as the structure and the club’s DNA,” said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. “We are convinced he is the right coach for the future of Bayern.”
Kovac’s brother Robert, also a former Bayern player, is expected to move with him as his assistant.